A few years ago death was on the doorstop for Harley-Davidson. Posting yearly sales losses on a regular basis, when the recession hit the Milwaukee company, it sold off its holdings in MV Agusta, and shuttered the Buell Motorcycle brand in order to keep its core business unit intact.
In Q2 of 2011, Harley-Davidson posted its YTD of growth since 2006, and the Bar & Shield brand continued that trend throughout the rest of last year. Finishing Q4 2011 with sales up 10.9% worldwide (11.8% in the US) over Q4 2010, Harley-Davidson finished the year strong with sales up 5.9% worldwide when compared to 2010. Additionally, sales in the United States posted a similar 5.8% of growth for units sold.
In unit volume figures, that 5.9% yearly growth boiled down to 235,188 units being sold worldwide (222,110 units in 2010), breaking down to 151,683 units sold in the US and 83,505 units sold internationally (+6.1% when compared to 2010). For Q4 2011, Harley-Davidson sold 40,359 units worldwide (36,390 in Q4 2010), while 23,753 of those units were sold in the United States. 16,606 units were sold internationally in Q4 2011, for a growth of 9.7%.
Those sales numbers resulted in Harley-Davidson posting some some gains on its balance sheet as well. Taking a $46.7 million loss in net income for Q4 of 2010, Harley-Davidson reported a net income of $105.6 million. This increased gain helped Harley-Davidson quadruple its net income for 2011, as the Milwaukee brand made $599.1 million in net income, over 2010′s $146.5 million in net income.
With the Bar & Shield making $4.6 billion in revenue for 2011, 11.6% over the $4.1 billion it made in 2010, Harley-Davidson’s increase in net income can be attributed partially to its sales increases domestically and abroad, but the American motorcycle manufacturer also saved several hundred million dollars worth of expenses courtesy to its restructuring efforts, helping solidify the company’s return to consistent profitability.
In closing its yearly report, Harley-Davidson disclosed that it expects to ship 240,000 to 245,000 motorcycles worldwide in 2012, which would be a 3% – 5% increase over last years unit volume. For Q1 of 2012, the Harley-Davidson expects to ship 58,000 to 63,000 motorcycles to dealers worldwide.